374 | Seven Tips for Finding More Reading Time (Janice Campbell)
Although there are many practical reasons to read daily, the list of the benefits of reading begins with delight. There are few things more soul-nourishing than a great book. However, reading can reduce stress, improve communication skills, increase empathy, build vocabulary, and so much more.
It's no surprise that reading builds brains; what’s surprising is how little reading time is built into most people’s day. You don’t have to read for hours a day to benefit. According to at least one study, stress is reduced after only six minutes of reading. Just imagine what longer periods might accomplish! Here are seven tips to help you find more reading time.
Janice Campbell, a lifelong reader and writer, loves to introduce students to great books and beautiful writing. She holds an English degree from Mary Baldwin College, and is the graduated homeschool mom of four sons. You’ll find more about reading, writing, planning, and education from a Charlotte Mason/Classical perspective at her websites, EverydayEducation.com, Excellence-in-Literature.com, and DoingWhatMatters.com.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Medi-Share: an affordable Christian alternative to traditional health insurance
Tuttle Twins: children’s books to help you teach your kids how the world really works
Have you joined us at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? We hope to see you there!
Janice Campbell Hello and welcome to The Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Janice Campbell and I'm one of the many hosts here on the podcast. Each week we bring you an encouraging conversation from this busy and blessed journey of educating our children at home. While the title of the show is Homeschool Solutions, we don't pretend to have all the answers to all the homeschooling questions. It is our hope that this podcast will point you to Jesus Christ that you may seek his counsel as you train your children in the way they should go. Parents, here's a riddle for you: Homeschoolers love them, enemies of freedom hate them. What are they? It's the Tuttle Twin books. With millions of copies sold, the Tuttle Twins series helps you teach your children about entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, the Golden Rule, and so much more. Get a discounted set of books with free workbooks today at TuttleTwins.com/homeschool. And now on today's show.
Janice Campbell Hi, I'm Janice Campbell. And I've been thinking about how to find more reading time this summer. As I was doing so, I was reminded of an article I wrote long ago about that very thing. I've looked it up, and it has my top seven tips for finding more reading time. So, that's what I'm going to be sharing in today's podcast. I hope it will help you find a bit more time for reading good things.
Janice Campbell First tip, read during breakfast. I know that many weight loss experts suggest focusing on your food at each meal, and that's a great idea, but I've eaten the same breakfast every morning for years. Makes things easy. I don't feel obligated to pay attention to it. Instead, I spend the time in spiritual and devotional reading and start the day refreshed. When our boys were young, I had to get up pretty early to have this quiet time, but it made such a difference in how the day went. If you have breakfast with your family normally, you might consider getting up just a wee bit earlier and doing a bit of reading with your cup of coffee or tea or spending your breakfast prep time using tip number two.
Janice Campbell Tip number two is to read with your ears. Listen to audiobooks as you walk, run, clean house, drive, cook, or whatever. It's not quite the same as reading on paper, but the power of the story, or the fascination of learning from an expert is still going to be there. Some classic works are actually better heard than read. Epic poetry such as Beowulf or Homer's Odyssey, for example. These works were composed to be spoken or sung. So reading with your ears helps you experience some of the beauty of the original way the story was heard.
Janice Campbell Third tip, read while riding public transportation or any other group sort of transportation. I spent my childhood school bus rides, reading as many chapters as I could possibly fit in our 15-minute ride. And every time I'm on an airplane or a subway in a major city today, I see a significant number of passengers reading just as I am. It redeems time that might otherwise be tedious.
Janice Campbell Tip number four, read during your family's quiet hour. One thing I always tried to have with our boys was a quiet hour after lunch. It started when they were beginning to outgrow naps, but I still needed a bit of recovery time in the middle of the day. Quiet hour worked best for us when each boy settled in a spot where he could not see the others, and he could do quiet things like read or do Legos or whatever. But all by himself and quietly. And I could read and or make lists or do whatever. But even half an hour of quiet reading can be a refreshing pause in the day.
Janice Campbell Tip number five, read in community, find a reading friend, or a compatible family or two, and start a little book group. Choose one good book a month and meet at the end of the month or so to discuss it. If you're doing it as a family, your book group meeting can include related projects such as planting a small garden after reading The Secret Garden, that sort of thing, if that's something your children would enjoy. If you can't find a book group that meets in person, you may be able to meet online through a private Facebook page, or Google Hangout, or other online type of thing like that. The Close Reads podcast and Facebook group is my favorite online reading group. They read good stuff, and have interesting discussions on it, so that might be something to try.
Janice Campbell Is there anything worse than spending a lot of money on something you're unhappy with and feeling like you're stuck with it? Or spending hundreds of dollars every month on health insurance only to find out that it doesn't cover what you thought it did? Well, I do have good news for you. You've probably heard me talking about the sponsor for our podcast, Medi-Share. Members of Medi-Share save up to 50% or more per month on their health care costs. They say the typical family saves up to $500 per month. And here's the best part, you can become a member at any time, so that means it isn't too late to switch to a more affordable health care option that will save you money and help you sleep better at night. If this is the first time you are hearing about Medi-Share, it's the best alternative to health insurance. It allows Christians to share one another's medical bills, offers access to over 900,000 health care providers and has a proven almost 30 year track record. Plus, in addition to saving hundreds per month, telehealth and telebehavioral counseling are included with membership. It literally takes 2 minutes to see how much you can save. To investigate this for you and your family, visit The Great Homeschool Conventions website at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/Medishare.
Janice Campbell Tip number six, read before bedtime. Reading is an ideal part of an evening routine that helps families wind down and prepare for a good night's sleep. While you may read on-screen during the day, this is the time of day for real books. Studies continue to show that screens such as television, tablets, mobile phones, etc. reduce both the duration and quality of sleep. So this is an ideal time for reading print on paper.
Janice Campbell And finally, tip number seven, read while walking. I did it for years on the way to and from school, and even between classes in the crowded hallways. It's perfectly simple to navigate with just your peripheral vision, but it's possible that it works best if you start young. I'm not exactly sure, but if you do try it, try it in a safe place until you know for sure you can manage without falling off a curb or running into a tree. There's a quote I enjoy that expresses the truth about reading while walking. It says, "If you've never said, "excuse me" to a parking meter or bashed your shins on a fireplug, you're probably wasting too much valuable reading time." And that's kind of how I feel about it, too.
Janice Campbell A lifetime of reading has taught me that as long as there's light available, books can be read just about anywhere. In bed, up the avocado tree, in a pool, on a rooftop, at the beach, or in the mountains. You'll most likely be the first reader your children see, be sure they see you reading for learning, for relaxation, and for sheer delight, because then they'll know it. That you really mean it when you tell them that reading is important. Because reading well, can change your life. Thank you for listening and goodbye for now.
Janice Campbell Thank you for joining us this week on The Homeschool Solutions Show. You can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom. Don't forget to check out my friends at Medi-Share because you deserve health care you can trust. To learn more about Medi-Share and why over 400,000 Christians have made the switch, go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/MediShare. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast and while you're there, leave us a review. Tell us what you love about the show. This will help other homeschooling parents like you get connected to our community. And finally, tag us on Instagram @HomeschoolingDotMom to let us know what you thought of today's episode. Have you joined us at one of The Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year, offering outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops covering today's top parenting and homeschooling topics, and the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the US. Find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com. I hope to see you there. Finally you can connect with me, Janice Campbell, at EverydayEducation.com where you'll find my Excellence in Literature curriculum, transcripts made easy and more, as well as at my blog DoingWhatMatters.com and my literature resource site Excellence-In-Literature.com. I wish you peace and joy in your homeschooling.